Q:I’m a lady marrying a lady, and to cut to the chase, neither of us likes men all that much. We have a few close male friends, but we’re talking like three.
Before planning our wedding, it never occurred to us that our wedding would have so many straight dudes present, but now that we look at how many partnered hetero lady friends we have on our guest list, we’re facing the reality that our queer wedding is going to be a nearly 50/50 gender split. Most of these guys I’d put in the “tolerable” bucket, some I find annoying, and there’s a handful I actively enjoy. Still, if I could employ some gay sparkle dust to poof away all wedding etiquette, none of them would be there.
Do you have any advice on how to feel more upbeat about being surrounded by straight men we don’t particularly like on our wedding day? With no groom to foist the men on, how can we squeeze in more quality time with our actual friends while not being rude to their dates? Or is there any way we can subtly encourage flying solo in a polite way? Most of our friends know or have at least met each other, and we’ll be entertaining everyone all weekend at a resort, so no one should feel lonely sans man.
Thanks for your help,
Dreading Accidentally Man-filled Nuptials
A: Dear DAMN,
Here’s the thing (and I think you both know this in your hearts already), while you could choose not invite the straight guys, chances are your lady friends who love those straight guys would probably be a little hurt. I totally feel you, as a gay femme myself, I prefer the company of women. Working in an entirely female environment is pretty much my fave thing ever, and almost all of my friends are female. We all know that guy who ruins the vibe and can’t take the moment seriously. It’s the worst. And I totally see how you don’t want that energy around your wedding in any way, shape, or form. But overall, it’s sounding like you don’t have too many super douches on your hands, with the worst of them falling into the annoying category. So that’s a good start.
But let’s break it down further here a minute, because this really isn’t a gendered issue. This is a human issue. We ALL know someone with a terrible, annoying partner. Being queer does not in any way eliminate the terrible, annoying partner possibility. It feels a little harsh to say that the queer lady friends’ partners could come purely based on the fact they’re a female, but not the partners of your hetero lady friends. And to top it off, the hinting at flying solo option seems destined to backfire. Because we all know the super chill awesome considerate guys (that you actually kinda like) will understand and stay home, while the ones falling into annoying bro category are going to see this as a “Why would I NOT come?” situation. And that, my friends, sounds freaking awful.
Let’s have some adult reality for a sec. It sounds like your wedding weekend is a resort destination, which means some amount of time off from work and vacation dollars spent. And most people who have limited vacation time (and vacation budget) probably don’t want to use up that time and money without their partners. Like yes, we all want a girls’ weekend. And even though you’ve pointed out that most of your friends know each other, or have met at some point, we all know that trips that involve an entire weekend in a beautiful location are usually more fun with your S.O. in tow.
So how do we make this potential semi–sausage fest into the sapphic wedding weekend of your dreams?
Throw yourselves the most epic, girls-only party. It’s totally acceptable to have a bachelor or bachelorette party the same weekend as a destination wedding, to save your friends from having to make multiple trips. But you could make this SO MUCH MORE than just a standard bachelorette party. It could even include a ceremony if you want (shhhhh). If you really are wanting a very intimate moment with just your gal pals surrounding you, make that happen. Bachelorette parties don’t have to be all about penis decorations (MY ACTUAL NIGHTMARE) and getting trashed. All the guys, or even other partners, you’re not super close with wouldn’t have to come and could fend for themselves (although, giving them some suggestions of other activities would be very nice of you).
Another option, and one I think you should probably try to do anyway, is get to know some of these guys a little better before the wedding. Have a casual get together a month or so before the wedding with as many folks as you can gather up so that not only YOU can get to know them, but if they’re not close friends already, they can get to know each other. Think of it like a grownup playdate. Make some sangria, have tacos, hang out, and try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
My point is, while yes it might not be ideal, I’m pretty sure most of those guys will be on their best behavior, and will sincerely be happy to be at your wedding. And the best thing is you’re setting an example of what being inclusive is all about. It sometimes means letting in people we feel a little uncomfortable around into our sacred places. Not to get all sappy here, but I feel like this is a really great opportunity for you to welcome them into your queer community, and show them how beautiful your love is.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ASK APW A QUESTION, PLEASE DON’T BE SHY!